EZ Living Furniture outlines supply chain challenges in retail
There has been a huge demand for consumer products in 2020 and 2021. Covid-19 has resulted in people spending more time at home than ever before. Lockdown especially saw all non-essential workers previously confined to their homes. Investing in goods such as clothing, electronics and furniture was one of the few ways that people could spend their discretionary income from the comfort of their own homes. However, this major spike in consumer purchasing is only one of many challenges that the retail industry is currently facing.
Every retailer and consumer across the globe is being affected by rising costs and frustrating delivery delays and this, unfortunately, includes us - EZ Living Furniture. As Ireland’s most loved and well-known furniture retailer, we wanted to help our customers understand the issues the entire retail industry is currently facing and will continue to face for some time by outlining the order fulfilment process to you.
Supply Chain Explained
Many suppliers (including EZ Living Furniture) source their products from overseas. When Covid-19 first struck in the Far East in March 2020, illness and a lessened workforce lead to a dramatic decrease in production. When those countries entered lockdown, supply stopped coming from the Far East entirely.
When these countries began to recover and started to exit lockdown, Europe, unfortunately, went into lockdown. Because we were unable to sell stock to the same capacity, we stopped ordering from these countries.
Customers began ordering products again, but only online as all of the physical stores in Europe were closed. It took us, and many other European businesses a number of weeks to come to terms with the new working from home arrangements and the redirection of resources towards the increase in online sales that occurred subsequently.
Product manufacturers and raw material manufacturers in Europe were still closed due to the pandemic. This meant materials and products were not being produced in Europe at all.
This caused major issues with supply and production. For instance, foam is one of many materials used to make mattresses, dining chairs, and sofas. When this is in short supply, so too is the furniture that uses foam.
Hospitals around the globe began ordering thousands of containers of PPE. With no warehouses to store these essential healthcare items, they remained in the containers at ports. This lead to congestions at ports and a shortage of shipping containers worldwide.
Shipping ports closed due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in ports.
The Suez Canal was blocked by a container vessel for six days. This put further strain on supply chains that were already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic.
We are still continuing to suffer from the lack of containers. This is causing a rise in transportation and raw material costs. Deliveries to customers are also now taking longer than usual.
What Are We Doing To Resolve This?
Stores like us are working even harder to ensure that customers receive the same products in the same time frame and at the same price-point that was in place before the pandemic. Any solution to this supply chain problem is not perfect. Prioritising faster delivery will inevitably lead to higher costs while focusing on lowering product prices will inevitably delay delivery times.
Alternatives and long-term solutions are being explored such as supply chains in eastern Europe. However, this is a time-consuming process primarily due to quality control and logistics.
What You Need To Know
Already this year, we have had to increase our stock levels to try to compensate for any future delivery delays. Until now, we have been absorbing the increases in transportation costs and raw materials in order to continue to offer our customers such a wide range of furnishings.
Unfortunately, due to the prolonged nature of the pandemic, stock is going to be limited, especially during certain holiday periods. Prices may also have to be increased again in the future with smaller companies likely to be affected to an even greater degree. We want to be completely transparent with our customers and make you all aware that our promotions listed below may be the last chance for you all to purchase EZ Living Furniture items at such low prices.
So, don’t wait to buy that EZ Living Furniture Item you have been eyeing and prioritise our in-stock items. The products available in all retail stores now could sell out and take a long time to return to stock. Shipping delay issues could also mean you are waiting months to receive your items.
Although we are uncertain as to how long these global supply-chain issues will last, we aim to keep you updated at all times. We appreciate your patience during these unprecedented times.
For any queries regarding your order, please contact our Customer Service team by phone, email or live chat:
Monday - Friday 9:30am - 5:00pm
Phone: 0818 222 272
Customer Service Email: email@example.com
Find out more at www.ezlivingfurniture.ie.
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